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Mendeley Guide: Start using Mendeley

What is Mendeley?


Mendeley is a free reference management application. Mendeley can be accessed both through the user interface installed on your computer and via the web.

Mendeley add-ins:

  • Mendeley Cite add-in for Microsoft Word allows you to insert references from your Mendeley library into your Word document, change your citation style and generate a bibliography.
  • Web Importer is an extension for web browsers which helps you to add references to your library with full text PDFs.
  • Mendeley Reference Manager is an interface that you can install on your computer to organize references and documents. The Reference Manager is similar in appearance and functionality to the Library page of the browser version of Menedeley.

You can find information about the functionality of the add-ins with different operating systems, browsers and word processing programs on the page What browsers and operating systems are supported for Mendeley products?

How to use Mendeley

Create a Mendeley account

Get started by creating a Mendeley account for yourself (Create a free account). You will have storage space to store references and PDF documents in your Library. A premium subscription is also offered, but the Oulu University Library does not have any agreement with Mendeley.

Note! If you already have an account with one of Elsevier’s services, such as Scopus or ScienceDirect, you should use the same account in Mendeley as well. In that case, you can log in directly to Mendeley.



You can transfer your reference library from other reference managers, for example RefWorks, into Mendeley. See Adding references.

Install add-ins


Mendeley Web Importer - a useful tool for saving references

With Web Importer, you can conveniently upload citations and entire articles to your Mendeley library. However, installing Web Importer is not mandatory and it does not work on all databases. See Saving articles and references

Install the program from the Web Importer Mendeley page. Web Importer works on Chrome, Firefox and Edge. Follow the instructions. After installation, a red Mendeley icon or Save to Mendeley button will appear in the browser bar.


Mendeley Cite - citations in place

To add citations and a bibliography to your text, you need the Mendeley Cite add-in. It works with Microsoft Word 2016 and later, including O365.

You can install Mendeley Cite directly from Word, depending on the version, either directly from the Add-ins button on the home page or from the Insert menu:


Add-ins button in Word

Mendeley Reference Manager - the browser's My Library as a desktop version

With Reference Manager, you can organize and format the references you save to Mendeley, read documents, and annotate them on your own computer. You can also do the same with the browser in the My Library view of your Mendley account, so installing a desktop version isn't necessary. Making in-text references also works without the Reference Manager. You can download and install the program from the Reference Manager page.